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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mass Incarceration: Prisoners are People, Not Slaves


Slavery has remained alive in the United States, well past the implementation of the 13th amendment. It has simply taken on a different name: The United States Prison System. The prison system was the scapegoat for our country to continue to take advantage of people without any repercussions. I have compiled research from various sources to highlight the negative impacts of our current prison system on minoritized individuals and their communities. The research demonstrates that the mass incarceration of minoritized individuals is caused by the selfishness of prison corporations and is supported by United States policies and judicial systems. Mass incarceration does more harm than good and serious reform such as changing the penalties of certain offenses, choosing rehabilitation instead of imprisonment for drug charges, stopping private prisons from profiting off of prisoners, and changing the three strikes law and plea bargains is needed.

Keywords: Mass incarceration, Three Strikes Law, racial discrimination

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